Long-term approach for regional co-operation

Minister for Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport, Faiyaz Koya, centre, speaks at the Forum Economic Ministers Meeting in Port Vila, Vanuatu on 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent. Picture: SUPPLIED

Endorsement of the 2050 Strategy, that sets out the long-term vision, aspirations and approach by the Pacific Islands Forum economic leaders to work together, is critical to our long-term survival, says Faiyaz Koya, Minister for Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport.

Mr Koya said the 2050 Strategy set out a long-term approach to work together and frames the regional co-operation around seven key thematic areas.

Speaking at the Forum Economic Ministers Meeting in Port Vila, Vanuatu on 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent, Mr Koya said each thematic area had its own ‘2050 ambition’ in support of the vision area; while there were 10 Leaders Commitments and key strategic pathways to guide their broad trajectory over the short, medium and long term.

“Chair, as leaders have agreed, the next steps in relation to the 2050 Strategy will now move to the development of an implementation plan, which will identify key collective actions under each thematic area, delivery timeframes, implementation arrangements and partners, and resourcing requirements, and I note that the first implementation plan will take a 5-year time frame.”

One of the thematic areas that is of particular relevance to Forum Economic Ministers is the area of resources and economic development.

“Its focus included accelerating the region’s economic growth through strengthened ownership and development of the region’s natural and human resources; diversifying investment portfolios and increasing the role of the private sector in key areas such as fisheries, agriculture, forestry, mining and tourism, and cultural industries, and through strengthened trade facilitation; as well as leveraging our collective solidarity and voice to continue to access climate and development finance, as well as to engage with financiers on debt issues.

“As we take the strategy forward, it is important that Economic Ministers’ consider how they can drive these aspirations forward in support of the 2050 Strategy.”

Mr Koya also highlighted the importance of ensuring that the development of the implementation plan – particularly in relation to economic issues – be closely linked to the development of the Blue Pacific Economic Strategy (BPES).

“I would encourage ministers to consider that the BPES be aligned directly to the Resources and Economic Development thematic area under the 2050 Strategy,” he said.

“Alongside this work, the review of the regional architecture will also commence, and it will be important for economic officials and Ministers to be thoroughly consulted in this work, so as to ensure that they consider the future Forum and regional Economic Architecture, including in relation to post-CERT mechanisms as part of this review to ensure broad regional cohesion and coherence.”

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